Nordic Ski: Elk boys, girls teams previewed

Elk River Nordic Ski, boys

Coaches — Kirstin Anderson (head), Margaret Litchy, Bill Martell, Kristen Larson, John Kallemeyn
Last year — 1st in conference, 2nd in section
Captains — Breck Hickman, Joey Martin
Letter winners back — Hickman (sr), Martin (sr), Ben Vrchota (sr), Dan Janasz (jr), Jonny Tormoen (sr), Matt Vrchota (jr)
Also in the mix — Peyton Riebel (so), Colin Webster (so), Aaron Ley (so)
Coach says — “We have a strong group of first-year skiers  — Zach Glascow, Ben Sylvester, Jacob Nardini, Karl Gorecki and Cory Warner to name a few — joining the team this year. We are excited to get them on snow and see how they develop. There is going to be some very tough competition from rival teams, but our young squad has a lot of potential if they are able to stay focused and continue the hard work they have started. Our sophomore boys are looking very strong and deep, so we are looking to see them contributing heavily.”
Outlook — Elks were No. 4 ranked last year (they missed state only because the champion was in the same section) and should remain very competitive even though two leaders graduated. Hickman and Martin are returning state qualifiers and all-NWSC.
Co-op — This is a co-op team with Elk River, Rogers, and Zimmerman

Elk River Nordic Ski, girls

Coaches — Same as above
Last year — 3rd in conference, 4th in section
Captains — Mallory Adams, Brittney Dorn, Reece Hickman
Letter winners back — Adams (sr), Dorn (sr), Hickman (jr), Shannon White (jr), Maggie Hohlen (jr), Emma Crane (jr), Tori Morgan (jr), Ali Manthey (jr)
Also in the mix — Lydia Carr (so), Peightyn Karsten (fr), Madison Anderson (sr), Hannah Lee (jr)
Coach says — “Our strong junior class is really looking to make a step up this year, and we are expecting them to help lead the team. We had some really close results last year and are hoping the hard work and focus over the summer will help pay off in the placings this year. Our first-year skiers are really learning quickly, and we are looking forward to seeing how they improve.”
Outlook — Five of six all-conference skiers (Hickman, Adams, Dorn, White and Hohlen) are back from a team that took third in the conference, so the Elks hope they’re in the thick of it.
Co-op — This is a co-op team with Elk River, Rogers, and Zimmerman